Innovation That Matters

Four fresh solutions changing transport

Innovation Snapshot

Land, air, and sea – discover the leading transport solutions at ChangeNOW 2022

Transport has the highest reliance on fossil fuels of any sector, and it accounts for around one-quarter of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.

With 74.5 per cent of transport emissions coming from road vehicles, the good news is that electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming a common sight on roads in many parts of the world. And innovators are not resting on their laurels. The race is on to perfect EV technology and gain an advantage in a market that could be worth $823.75 billion (around €790 billion) by 2030.

ChangeNow special report

Elsewhere, viation accounts for 11.6 per cent of transport emissions. Despite recent headline-grabbing innovations with sustainable aviation fuel, sustainable aviation is at an earlier stage of development. Yet innovators are exploring a range of different technologies for clean flight.

Innovation is needed to clean up all parts of a sector that affects our lives on a daily basis. And four exciting transport solutions are on display at the ChangeNOW 2022 summit.

Photo source Lightyear


Today, the average range of a fully-charged electric car is between 100 and 300 miles (161-483 kilometres). By contrast, a new design from Dutch startup Lightyear can manage 725 kilometres on a fully charged battery. The company’s first model, the Lightyear One, includes five square metres of integrated solar panels that can generate charge equivalent to 70 kilometres of range each day. As a result, drivers can operate it completely off-grid without the need for daily charging – a well-documented inconvenience facing today’s electric vehicle owners.

Rather than building on existing electric vehicle technologies, the company has decided to start from scratch with a ‘holistic’ design philosophy. The benefits conferred by this approach include less weight, improved energy efficiency, and minimal energy use. The car also incorporates technology that re-uses residual heat to maintain its components at the optimum temperature. Read more.

Photo source ZeroAvia


While the transition to zero-emission technology is well underway on the road, the aviation industry remains reliant on fossil fuels. But this does not mean that innovators are not making progress with alternative technologies. Potential alternatives to kerosene-powered jets include sustainable aviation fuel, electric power, and hydrogen combustion. Now, UK-based ZeroAvia is betting on another technology: hydrogen-electric.

ZeroAvia has developed a new type of hydrogen-electric powertrain that converts green hydrogen—produced using renewable energy—into electricity during flight. This electricity is then used to power an electric motor. The company’s technology promises a long range, low fuel and maintenance costs, and zero emissions. Moreover, the powertrains can be installed on existing fixed wing aircraft, and do not cause harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx). Read more.

Photo source SeaBubbles


While cars and planes are often the focus of discussions around the future of mobility, waterways also provide opportunities for transport innovation. And French company SeaBubbles is applying the latest sustainable technology to the waves with hydrogen-powered flying boats.

The boats—which are specifically designed for urban contexts—are powered using a hybrid hydrogen-electric propulsion system that produces zero emissions. Moreover, retractable self-supporting foils lift the boats out of the water, meaning that they cause minimal noise and no waves. Each boat can carry eight passengers with a range of 80 kilometres. Read more.

Photo source Dovile Ramoskaite on Unsplash


Parisian company Zenride has an ambitious mission: to help companies realise their sustainability commitments by making it easy for their employees to find the bike of their dreams. Using Zenride’s simple and completely online platform, employees can send a request for a bike to their manager. Once this request is validated, the employee can go to a shop near their office and choose the bike they prefer – confirming their choice through their smartphone. This alerts their manager who can sign the contract approving their choice online.

Employees in participating companies can choose from 300 models of electric or traditional bike from Zenride’s partner shops or online through e-commerce websites or The scheme can lead to significant benefits for both the environment and participating companies. Zenride claims that participating employees save 572 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide on average, while employees who exercise regularly are 12 per cent more productive. Read more.

Want to discover how innovation will change the world in 2022? Read our special report produced in collaboration with ChangeNOW.

Springwise is a proud partner of ChangeNOW, which takes place in Paris 19-21 May 2022. As the world’s largest event for the planet, the three-day international summit brings together entrepreneurs, business leaders and policymakers to accelerate change.

Words: Matthew Hempstead